What is Cutting the Cord?
In the TV and cable worlds, cutting the cord refers to canceling your paid TV service. No cable, and no satellite. Why would you do this? Won’t you lose access to your shows?
The answer is no. When broadcast signals switched from analog to digital, their networks began to offer almost all of their programs for free to those using a simple TV antenna, instead of paying for a monthly TV provider.
This means that now, with the emergence of newer technology such as DVR, streaming, and TV antennas, you can get access to all of your favorite shows, and pay less money than you would pay a monthly service provider.
While it at first seems that a TV antenna is old-school, and couldn’t possibly be useful anymore, the truth is that a simple TV antenna can provide you free, HD access to local channels, ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, MTV, PBS, and more. A TV antenna, coupled with a DVR and streaming services, can simplify and save you money on your TV viewing needs.
What Hardware Do I Need?
Right off the bat, you are going to need three things in order to replace your cable or satellite: a TV antenna, a television, and the internet.
This is necessary in order to gain free access to all local channels, major networks, and sports in HD. Depending on your house’s location, and what natural or man-made barriers are in the way, a stronger antenna might be required.
Check out Antennas Direct to find the perfect TV antenna for your needs.
A new, HDTV television will have all of the necessary ports and capabilities to support the broadcast received from the antenna, as well as streaming via the internet. Some TV’s, such as Smart TV’s, even have apps built into them in order to provide an even easier experience.
Read more on Smart TV’s at TabloTV.
If you don’t have a Smart TV, then you are going to need high-speed internet with a streaming device. Boxee Box, Roku, and more are streaming devices which gather shows that are offered for free online and stream them to your TV screen.
Learn more about the Boxee Box here at CrunchGear.
FAQ: Cord Cutting
Does cutting the cord mean I can’t watch live television?
Nope. TV broadcasts went digital in 2009, opening up every major TV network, local stations, and sports in HD – free, and in even better quality than cable and satellite providers! Type your address into AntennaWeb’s calculator to find out what channels you can receive at your home.
Does cutting the cord mean I can’t record my shows on DVR?
Nope. You can own a DVR (instead of just using the one the cable company gave you). That means you can record any of your favorites shows at any time with a simple TV antenna. Saving money, while still getting the shows you want.
Does cutting the cord mean I have to stream everything online?
Nope. 94% of all TV shows are available with a TV antenna, with no streaming necessary. For access to certain shows, you might want to invest in a streaming service (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc.) in addition to a TV antenna. Doing that will still save you money over cable and satellite.
Does cutting the cord mean I can’t watch cable TV shows?
Nope. You can still choose whichever cable shows you want, while avoiding paying the monthly cable fees. You choose the channels you want, pay for only those, and avoid the steep monthly fee for hundreds of channels you don’t want or need.